New Brunswick "What's in a Name"

Province of New Brunswick

Site Map - Complete index to site
What's New - on this site
Tourism NB - Tourism information on New Brunswick
Information NB - all about New Brunswick
Fun Stuff - Free stuff, humor, recipes & more!
Photo Gallery - A picture guide of New Brunswick
Message Center looking for a loved one or just want to say hello this is the place for you!
NB Links - All things New Brunswick, over 2,500 links to choice from!
NB Genealogy - Track your New Brunswick roots here!
Free NB Guide - You can order it free right here! logo
Changing of the Guard, Officers Square, Historic Garrison District, Fredericton, New Brunswick
What's in a Name-New Brunswick

Page 1 2 3

Fredericton, New Brunswick    The city of stately elms has its roots in the Acadian village of Sainte-Anne, which was settled in 1731; the settlement was later renamed Sainte Anne's Point by New England Planters. A new name was enacted by order-in- council on February 22, 1785: "a town at Saint Anne's Point on the River St. John, to be called Fredericktown after His Royal Highness Prince Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and second son of King George Ill." The 'k' and 'w' were eventually dropped.
    In 1848 the town became a city after the Anglican bishop John Medley chose the community as the site for the Gothic Revival Christ Church Cathedral.

Bathurst, New Brunswick    FIRST known as Nepisiguit and later St. Peters, Bathurst was renamed in 1826 by LieutenantGovernor Howard Douglas (1776 to 1861) for the colonial secretary, Henry, third Earl of Bathurst (1762 to 1834).
    Bathurst was incorporated as a town in 1912 and as a city in 1966.
    The area was the site of a post established in 1652 by one of the very first Acadian authors, Nicolas Denys (1598 to 1688). He retired here after the post of the Fort of Saint Pierre on Cape Breton burned down during the winter of 1668. It was here that Denys wrote his lasting contribution: Description, géographique et historique des costes de lAmérique septentrionale.
    His writing describes 17th-century life on the Acadian Peninsula: "My house is flanked by four little bastions with a palisade with six pieces of cannon in batteries. The lands are not of the best: there are rocks in some places. I have a large garden in which the land is good for vegetables, which come on in a marvellous way. I have sown the seeds of Pears and Apples, which have come up and are well established, although this is the coldest place that I have lived, and the one where there is the most snow."

Manawagonish    You'd think Manawagonish just rolled off the tongue - like, say Smith or Jones - considering how many things in West Saint John carry its name: Manawagonish Cove, Manawagonish Creek, Manawagonish Island, Manawagonish Road and plain old Manawagonish, a former settlement in West Saint John.
    According to Geographical Names of New Brunswick, Manawagonish Cove is derived from Maliseet Manawagonessek meaning "place for clams." It also says Manawagonish Island is possibly derived from Maliseet for "island at the salt marsh." The island is a bird sancutary, located just off the Irving Nature Park in West Saint John.
    - Manawagonish Road, according to Harold Wright, was named when the area was a community named Conway, sometime in the early l9th century.

Kingsclear, NB    As the name suggests, it was an area where the king's surveyor allowed clearcutting - hence, kings's clear.

    Clearcutting was not allowed everywhere at the time. In 1722, the British Parliament passed an act prohibiting the cutting of white pine trees in the king's woods in North America. Land grants in New Brunswick included the stipulation of "Saving-and reserving nevertheless to us, our heirs and successors, all pine trees."
    When the surveyor of woods did grant a licence to cut trees, the land would be inspected and any trees fit for use as masts (those at least 30 centimetres in diameter) would be marked with broad arrows and reserved for use by the Royal Navy. Then the licencee could take away timber that was "unfit for His Majesty's service."
    (Broad Arrow Brook, which flows into the Keswick River, is named for this custom of marking trees.)

Florenceville    Buttermilk Creek, settled in 1832, was a peaceful little farming community tucked into the hills of the Upper St. John River Valley. By 1855, the Crimean War had been raging for two years and the name Florence Nightingale was on everybody's lips.
    The Lieutenant-Governor of the time, L.A. Wilmot, renamed Buttermilk Creek in the famous nurse's honour and Florenceville, N.B., was born.
    The earliest settlers to come to Florenceville were Loyalists who had originally emigrated from Britain to New - England in the 1630s and 1640s, turning to the east coast of Canada in the 1780s as political refugees.
    Like so much of early New Brunswick, farming and lumbering were the mainstays of Florenceville which had a shingle mill, grist mill and a general store. Shingles were carted to the St. John by wagon to be loaded onto rafts for transport up and down the river. Later, river boats were used above Grand Falls and one of those stem wheelers was called the Florenceville.
    The east side of the community for a long time was called Buckwheat Flat, not the favoured side of the river on which to live according to the mavens of the time who, of course, lived on the west side at Buttermilk Creek.
    Local tradition has it that Florenceville's early name of Buttermilk Creek was derived from the Maliseet m'loxsiseebooksis meaning 'white like milk brook.' There was, then, a small stream on the west bank of the St. John River at Florenceville which churned up hitish water resembling buttermilk

Parlee Beach, New Brunswick

Parlee Beach
    Parlee Beach, a noted resort and provincial park, honours T. Babbitt Parlee (1914-1956), provincial minister of Municipal Affairs and once MLA for Moncton. He was killed in a plane crash while flying between Fredericton and Moncton.

Sir Edmund Head-Edmunston, New Brunswick    0riginally known as Petit-Sault, Edmundston was renamed in 1850 for Sir Edmund Head, who served as lieutenant- governor of New Brunswick. It was Head who introduced "responsible government" the transfer of power from Britain to an elected government - in 1854. This region is also referred to as the "Republic of Madawaska." They have a flag and a coat of arms and each year the incumbent mayor of Edmundston is given the role of president. The region also lays claim to the legendary lumberjack, Paul Bunyan. Folktales about Bunyan were carried into Maine and as far as Wisconsin.

Pokeshaw, New Brunswick    I am enclosing a photo of Pokeshaw Island in Pokeshaw, N . B. I From left to right is the store, meat house, bait houses, cook house (with the boss Joe Carr at the left comer) and the cannery. About 20 girls from Blue Cove and Maisonette, including my mother and sister, slept in the upper parts of the cannery while they worked during fishing season. This photo taken early 1900. The woman in the door is Miss Gauthier from Neguac, N.B.
    All of the buildings were there in the early 1900s. Also all the trees on the island. Now there are no trees or houses. There are birds coming to nest every summer, called cormorants. I would like to know the origin of the name Pokeshaw. It is situated about 30 kilometres down east of Bathurst on Route 11 between New Bandon and Grand- Anse.
    - Corinne M. Coombs, Pokeshaw
    THERE is a community called Pokeshaw located a few kilometres west of Caraquet. The name originates with the Pokeshaw River which flows into Baie des Chaleurs. It is a French/English rendering of the original Mi'kmaq "Pooksaak." Most Mi'kmaq and Maliseet place names were geographical descriptors and Pooksaak was no exception. The word meant "narrow at the outlet."
    The evolution of the name may be traced on early maps. Franquelin (1686) lists the river as: "R. bout au Sac" and DesBarres (1777) as "Pockskey." The surveyor and cartographer Henry Wolsey Bayfield (1795-1845) may be credited with the contemporary spelling "Pokeshaw." It dates from his coastal survey of 1845.
    - Contributed by Bill Hamilton,

New Maryland
Church of St. Mary the Virgin-Maryland, New Brunswick   According to W.F. Ganong in his book Places, names and Nomenclature, New Maryland was probably named for settlers of Loyalists from the state of Maryland. It was created a parish in 1850.
   According to Geographical Names of New Brunswick by Alan Rayburn, New Maryland was first named by Mr. Arnold from Maryland who settled there about 1817. (Photo of The Church of St. Mary the Virgin, constructed under Bishop John Medley in 1863 is a provincial heritage site. Noel Chenier photo.)

Tracadie, New Brunswick   The name Tracadie originates with the Mik'maq Tulakadik, which means "camping ground." The area was used as a camp while native people fished the nearby Big and Little Tracadie Rivers. A number of variations of the place name appear on early maps: Tregate (Champlain 1603), Tregatté (Champlain 1613), Tracadi (Jumeau 1685) and Tracady (Franquelin-DeMeulles 1686). 'Tracadie' is consistent from the 1850s onwards.
   It was resettled in 1784 by Acadians who had escaped the expulsion of 1755 and by others who returned from exile. In 1849 the town became the site of a lazaretto (hospital for contagious diseases). source: Place Names of Atlantic Canada by William B. Hamilton.

Woodstock, New Brunswick   The name originates with Woodstock, a town northwest of Oxford, England. William Francis Ganong indicates that the name "was probably suggested by its nearness to Northhampton, as in England." The examples of the same name in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont may have been a further factor. Others have suggested that it may have been inspired by the title of sir Walter Scott's romantic novel of the English civil War; however, since this book did not appear until 1826, the theory does not hold. Whatever the reason, the name was first assigned in 1786, when the parish was founded. It was then an appropriate designation, as the original place name may be translated from the medieval English as "a place in the woods." source: Place Names of Atlantic Canada by William B. Hamilton.

Neguac, New Brunswick    According to Silas Rand, who published several books in the late 19th century, the name of Negauc is of uncertain Mi'kmaq origin and may well be traced to Negwek for "springs out of the Ground."

   The spelling of "Neguac" dates from c1870. Before that between 1857 and 1870 the post office spelling was "Niguac."
   The village was incorporated in 1967.

Lepreau Falls, New Brunswick   Point Lepreau was named before Lepreau Harbour, Lepreau River and Lepreau Falls. While the name is of uncertain origin, it is almost certainly a corruption of an earlier French designation, la pereau, for "little rabbit." It appears on early maps as Pte aux Napraux (Franquelin-DeMeulles 1686); Point La Pro (Southack 1733) and Ponit Lapreau (Holland 1798). The contemporary spelling has prevailed since the mid-nineteenth century. source: Place Names of Atlantic Canada by William B. Hamilton.

   Kars overlooks Belleisle Bay and was named, following the end of the Crimean War (1853-6) for the defense of Kars, in eastern Turkey, by Sir William Fenwick Williams (1800-1883). General Williams was a native of Annapolis Royal and served as lieutenant-governor of Nova Scotia. There is a Karsdale on the Annapolis Basin also named for him. source: Place Names of Atlantic Canada by William B. Hamilton and Geographical Names of New Brunswick by Alan Rayburn.

Antonine Maillet-Bouctouche, New Brunswick   Located in Kent County, the name Bouctouche may be traced back to the Mi'kmaq descriptive Chebuktoosk, usually translated as 'big bay', although some make it a diminutive of the Mi'kmaq for Richibucto; others associate the name with buktw, which is Mi'kmaq for 'fire'. in 1903, D. Michaud suggests the name originates from a Native chief.
   Although the name is of a much earlier origin, the area was first settled by Acadians who returned following the expulsion. Bouctouche is also home of the noted Acadian author Antonine Maillet.
   The plays of Maillet are featured in the summer at the theme park Le Pays de La Sagouine in Bouctouche.
   Of Maillet's work, writer and critic Janice Kulyk Keefer has written "there is an overwhelming sense of particular time and local place in her writing, an impassioned commitment to [Acadia] as a social and political entity.
   The title character of her best-known work is La Sagouine, with its Rabelaisian humour and satire. It is 'not an individual but a collective being, the memory of Acadian people," Keefer writes.
   On July 24, 1985, Bouctouche Village had its status changed to a town and its spelling altered to 'Bouctouche.' Other nearby features carrying the name, such as Buctouche River, were not affected by the spelling change.
   Sources: Places and Names of Atlantic Canada (1996) and Geographical Names of New Brunswick (1975)

St. Andrews
Alogonquin, St. Andrews, New Brunswick   The name St. Andrews predates the arrival of the Loyalists. According to tradition, a French missionary landed here on St. Andrews Day, erected a cross, celebrated mass, and named the location St. André. By 1770 the area was referred to by Captain William Owen as 'St. Andrew's Point.'
   It is one of the oldest towns in the province, its history beginning with the arrival, in October 1783, of the Penobscot Loyalists. These refugees, from all over New England, had first settled at Castine, farther down the coast.
   When it became clear that the St. Croix River rather than the Penobscot was to define the international boundary, they moved to St. Andrews. Several brought their own houses, which were taken down in sections and towed behind ships.
   A new town was surveyed and laid out in square blocks. The streets parallel to the waterfront were named Water, Queen, Prince of Wales, Montaque, Parr and Carelton the last three being names of colonial governors. The cross-streets were named for King George II and his children.
   For the next century St. Andrews prospered as a principal shipping port with the West Indies, dealing particularly in timber, fish, sugar and rum. Following the demise of the 'Golden Age of Sail,' in the late 1800s, the town was 'discovered' as a major tourist attraction and became known as st. Andrews-By-The-Sea.
   Aside from its superb physical setting, the town is noteworthy for its domestic architecture, which spans all periods from the colonial era to present. 48% of the structures in the original town plot have been lived in for more than a century. Two outstanding architectural gems are Geenock Presbyterian Church (1824) and the Court House, with its beautifully gilded royal coat of arms over the portico (1840).
   The town was incorporated in 1903.
   Sources: Places and Names of Atlantic Canada (1996) by William B. Hamilton.

Page 1 2 3

The information below was taken from the "Reader" found in the Times Globe every Saturday.

Navigational Bar Apply for your Free New Brunswick Tourism Guide here! Track your New Brunswick roots here! An index of over 2,500 links from New Brunswick Drop us a note, we'd love to hear from you! Images of the Picture Province of New Brunswick Games, jokes, cartoons, screen savers and more, all free for the taken! General information on the province of New Brunswick Tourism information on New Brunswick Find out recent changes made to the site. A full breakdown of what this site has to offer1 Enter